Kindness - June 2013
Kindness usually costs little or no money and is not beyond any of us. Everyone wants to be treated kindly, and this issue will help you get a head start in how to include encouragement, sympathy, thoughtfulness, and compassion in your life.
In one story Jesus told, a young man left home hoping to make his fortune, but ended up wasting his share of the family’s wealth on wild living. Finally, penniless and humbled, he returned to his father’s house, probably expecting and psyched up for an angry—or at least condescending—attitude and a stern lecture. His father, however, welcomed him back with open arms and tears of joy.
In another story, a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when thieves robbed him, beat him, and left him for dead. After a priest and a Levite had passed without helping, a Samaritan (a...Read more
During the spring of my junior year in high school, some girls suggested we practice for the junior-senior basketball game, and I thought it might be fun, so I tagged along. I did poorly in practice, more focused on my friends than on the game; but despite getting on the nerves of some of the more competitive players, I decided that I would go through with what was going to be my one and only basketball game.
Throughout the match, the seniors consistently held the lead, while my teammates were struggling. I had passed the ball a couple of times like...Read more
On a flight I took some months ago, there was a little girl sitting in the catty-cornered seat from me. She had a beautiful new coloring book that her mother had obviously brought especially for the flight. Occupying the same row was another girl about the same age whose father was seated behind her. This girl had no coloring book, and in fact, didn’t seem to have anything to occupy her.
The girl with the coloring book was soon busily coloring with her crayons spread out on the tray table, and the other girl was looking longingly at them. I felt...Read more
Kindness is love in action, love translated into simple everyday terms. It’s being considerate of others. It’s living the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”1 It’s turning a blind eye to the flubs and foibles of others. It’s being as tenderhearted and forgiving toward others as God is with you.2
Kindness generates goodwill. Your kind words and kind deeds tell others that their happiness and well-being are important to you, and that makes them want to respond in like manner. Kindness is one of the hardest things to give away, because it’s nearly always...Read more
One sunny afternoon roughly seventy years ago, a young girl and her friends were watching through the mesh of a barbed wire fence as a group of men played football [soccer], enjoying the excitement of the game and the skill of the players. Suddenly, a kick sent the ball in an arc over the fence, and it landed near the children.
“It’d be great to have a ball to play with,” one of the boys remarked. “Let’s keep it.”Read more
Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845)
The sun makes ice melt; kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
I had just moved to a new country with my husband and family. That meant new schools for the children and a new job for my husband. It was a difficult time of adjustment for all of us, but I was especially feeling the strain. My marriage was feeling it, too. There was a growing list of subjects that my husband and I stopped talking about, because we knew they would lead to arguments.
But then I got to know Toni.Read more
I don’t know how she did it, but the cashier's eyes peered right into mine. I’d been discovered. I had tried to avoid eye contact as I was finishing the grocery shopping. More embarrassing than being seen in public coping with a rare meltdown would be someone discovering the “nothing to cry about” interaction that had triggered it.
I was holding it together—as long as I didn’t have to talk. My husband tried to phone me, but I couldn’t respond. It would have been messy (and noisy) if I attempted to communicate anything at all.Read more
When I was a little girl, I went to my first circus. There, before my awestruck eyes, were three rings in full action—performing animals in one, and acrobats leaping and flying through the air in another. What interested me most, though, was taking place in the third ring. A girl and a boy were flinging brightly colored missiles, which, after they had crossed the ring, turned and returned to the very hands that had flung them. No matter which direction they were thrown, the things curved and came back swiftly to the young performers, who would catch and fling them...Read more
The signs were nothing but rectangles of white-painted plywood adorned with bright red words proclaiming, “abrazos gratis” (“free hugs”), along with flowers, hearts, and other cheerful splotches of eye-catching color. We drove to our rendezvous point at a nearby university campus to meet up with the rest of our crew, and then struck out around downtown Guadalajara, Mexico, to search for strangers upon whom to shower random acts of kindness.
Signs held high, we fanned out, an advancing army of affection. “Would you like a free hug?” was our battle cry.Read more
Question: I’d like to do more to improve things around me, but I don’t feel there’s a lot I can do. Changing the world seems like such a huge task—how to know where to start?
Answer: The good news is you don’t need to be someone powerful or famous to make a difference. Each positive change—no matter how small—is changing the world for the better. We can change the world by improving the lives of those around us, through deeds of kindness and consideration, and by showing faith in them. Here are some practical tips to help get you started changing your...Read more
The story of the boy who gave his lunch to the disciples to share with the multitude is well known.1 Jesus took the five small loaves and two fishes, blessed the food which was multiplied miraculously, and thousands of hungry people were satisfied. Who was the little boy? What was his name? What was the name of his thoughtful mother who provided the packed lunch? These details are not provided.
Unsung heroes quietly performing simple acts of kindness provide the backdrop to so many miracles of deliverance, healing, and supply. Consider the men who carried their paralyzed friend on his bed;...Read more
There is a special happiness and contentment that comes from putting others and their needs above your own. When you’re doing something kind for someone, it doesn’t just benefit them, it also benefits you. The happiness that comes through kind and caring and generous actions is not a light or frivolous satisfaction or pleasure; it’s a much deeper feeling of fulfillment. You are letting My Spirit of love into the world around you, into the lives of others, and into your own life.Read more
The Bible is a rich storehouse of spiritual and practical advice, and examples of strong relationships are one of the recurrent themes. In fact, Martin Luther commented that the entire Christian life consists of relating to people around us.1
So what can we learn from the Bible about how to succeed with people?Read more